A Verdi opera fit for 2018
Verdi’s tale of malevolence and misogyny is set in Renaissance Italy. The COC’s take, however, plays fast and loose with the show’s original intentions—sometimes to stunning effect, sometimes risibly—transporting the story into a Victorian gentlemen’s club to prove that powerful men get their way no matter the era. In this case, the authority in question is the Duke of Mantua, a lecherous ruler who could pass for a 19th-century Trump or Weinstein. He has his eye on Gilda (soprano Anna Christy), the innocent daughter of the wicked-tongued court jester Rigoletto (English baritone Roland Wood). The hunchbacked fool fails to keep Gilda safe from the duke’s predatory hands, leading to one of the grimmest denouements in operatic history.